A Child’s Smile

Poets and writers describe childhood and its innocence in various ways, but today, I will write about what happened to the children of my country.

The children of my country whose laughter and dreams would fill the air, and there they are today, breathing that same air carrying shrapnel and bullets tearing through their fragile bodies.

Thoughts of fear and death chase away their dreams and kill their innocence.

I will tell you the story of three children, whose only mistake was to go outside to retain their right to play while their country is drowning in destruction, killing, and displacement, and after they were deprived of schooling for 2 years. These three children were hit with shrapnel, inflicting on them immense pain. A pain that they are unable to bear; one of bodily wounds, and another of loneliness. These children crossed the Jordanian border alone and were transferred to the hospital to receive medical care.

Who will provide safety and comfort to these children, and who will dry their tears now that they have crossed the border by themselves?

Despite all that they were tough. I sat with them for hours talking to them and they told me how they used to venture out to play under the difficult circumstances.

They were like a ray of hope that shined in our hearts, and I devoted my time to keep them company and give them a sense that there is someone who cares about them and is taking care of them. They were very happy about that.

Ali, Mohammad, and Obada; three children who had a great effect on me and taught me patience and hope.

Mohammad, who cannot wait to see his mother, was hit with shrapnel in his eye that almost took that wish away from him

Obada’s leg was injured and almost cost him the ability to walk again, but despite that he kept hoping to return home.

Ali, however, is another story. The shrapnel caused serious damage to his legs and feet, and every day when we come to dress his wounds he starts screaming: “What is this?? How will my legs go back to how they were before?”

At that moment you are hit with a sense of despair that pushes you to the brink of collapse, and yet you also feel the power to hold yourself together and be strong for him and give him hope for recovery.

One time Ali started yelling loudly: “How can I grow up and get married with my legs looking like this?”

The feeling you get when you hear that is a mix between the innocence of childhood and its dreams, and the sadness at what was inflicted upon it and took away its happiness.

In the end we find out that all this didn’t stop them from hoping that they will return to their mothers and to their schools. This ray of hope helped us believe that the smiles of children will draw hope for a brighter future.

-Rasha

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Filed under General, Health, Mobility, Return and Resettlement, Shelter

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